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Interview: Mini Simmons Share New Album 'Make Up'

Interview: Mini Simmons Share New Album 'Make Up'

Interview by Charlotte Lovrin / C.C. / Wednesday 5th April, 2023 11:22AM

Making a splash in 2019 with their self-titled debut album, Tāmaki Makaurau's Mini Simmons are back in a big way with their new glam rock inspired opus Make Up. Recorded at Roundhead Studios with Paddy Hill, the group's Brad Craig spilled the beans to Charlotte Lovrin about Mini Simmons' four years in the making record and release tour. Don't miss the the five-piece rolling out their brand spanking new tunes this week, getting dolled up and getting crowds boogieing in the capital and Gisborne's Smash Palace...

Mini Simmons - Make Up Album Tour

Thursday 6th April - Wellington, Meow
Saturday 8th April - Smash Palace, Gisborne*
Friday 14th April - Wunderbar, Lyttleton*
Saturday 15th April - Space Academy, Christchurch*
Friday 21st April - The Yot Club, Raglan*
Saturday 22nd April - The Mothership, Auckland*
Friday 28th April - Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh*
Saturday 29th April - The Butter Factory, Whangarei*

*Tickets available HERE via UTR

Charlotte Lovrin: Congratulations on the release of your new album Make Up. How long has this record been in the making?

Brad Craig: Thanks! It has certainly been a long time in the making… Some of the songs were written 3 or 4 years ago, others a little more recently than that. The bulk of the recording began in April 2022 and we’d just chip away with weekend sessions here and there. Definitely a slightly hodge podge way of doing things, but we’re pretty stoked with how it’s turned out.

In what way have things either changed or stayed consistent in the way Mini Simmons works and collaborates together as a band since the release of your debut record in 2019? Did the shift to Roundhead with Paddy Hill shake up your recording process?

A lot of these songs were written over the initial lockdown period, Yoni and I (Brad) were lucky enough to be living together at the time so we could bounce ideas off each other, but otherwise it was mainly sending instrumentals to Zak for him to write lyrics too, or Zak sending a song idea for us to flesh out some more. Once we all got back together we rehearsed the tunes up and road tested them to a degree with a short tour in 2021. Recording with Paddy at Roundhead felt like a nice progression from our previous album at The Lab. We definitely leaned into the songs and were open to more of a lush production on some tracks, while others we kept it super old school and tracked it live with minimal mics.

A strong glam rock aesthetic appears to come across for the new record. Who have Mini Simmons been looking to as inspirations for the new album — sonically and / or lyrically?

I think most of us were going through a pretty solid David Bowie phase during the production of 'Push & Pull', I even slipped a cheeky sample of a clap from one of his songs on that one! T-Rex and Lou Reed also helped drive more of the glam direction for us overall. Aside from that we really dig the album Lookout Low by Twin Peaks.

Choose one: T-Rex, Roxy Music or New York Dolls? Why?

T-Rex! Can’t go past that voice, it’s seductively cool and so unique. Also gotta love how a lot of those songs are essentially 50’s three-chord rockers reimagined for the glam era. Genius.

What can punters expect from your upcoming shows? Who's playing with you on the tour?

A big ol’ serving of groovy rock n roll energy with a whiff of blues and country! Maybe a bit of cheeky eye liner thrown in too... We’re lucky to be joined by some incredible kiwi artists including: Dateline, Arahi, Adam Hattaway, Monk Seals, Ukiah Brown, Dictaphone Blues and Brian Baker

Where next for Mini Simmons? Any plans to take the new album overseas in the near future?

Gonna drop a bit of a bombshell here… This is going to be the last tour for a while as our beautiful bass player Jesse is leaving us to live in Nicaragua for the next 6-8 months! Plans are to do a vinyl release later in the year, so there might well be a summer tour to support that one, but for now you’ll have to catch us on the road this April!


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Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Sat 8th Apr 8:00pm
Smash Palace, Gisborne
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Fri 14th Apr 8:00pm
Wunderbar, Lyttelton
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Sat 15th Apr 8:00pm
Space Academy, Christchurch
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Fri 21st Apr 8:00pm
The Yot Club, Raglan
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Sat 22nd Apr 8:00pm
The Mothership, Auckland
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Fri 28th Apr 8:00pm
Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Leigh
Mini Simmons Make Up Album Tour
Sat 29th Apr 8:00pm
The Butter Factory, Whangarei